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Dear Campus Community,

One of the most important steps we can take in the fight against COVID-19 is wearing a face covering to protect others and ourselves. This, in addition to washing your hands and physically distancing from others, has the capability of significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19. This is important so that our hospitals don't become overwhelmed, our vulnerable populations stay healthy, and our mission as the state's flagship university stays intact.

USD has strongly advocated for requiring face coverings on campus to ensure the success of the fall semester. Yesterday, the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) announced it would require face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus when the fall academic term begins Aug. 19.

This new protocol, which applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors, is part of a tiered approach to face covering requirements adopted by the SDBOR for the state's six public universities. This action will be reviewed 30 days after the start of the fall academic term.

We're grateful to the SDBOR for its leadership in helping our campus community stay safe and healthy. As Coyotes, we are part of a larger family – a pack. This year, I'm asking you to #ProtectThePack and follow the protocols in place to keep our campus community safe.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to or visit Thank you for your continued efforts in mitigating the risks of COVID-19. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you this fall semester.


Sheila K. Gestring
University of South Dakota